What countries still have mandatory conscription for military service?

Today in Europe, conscription (the mandatory and compulsory drafting into the armed forces at a specified age-generally 18) still remains a living reality in many counties. In all cases, regardless of whether they observe conscription or not, countries will also maintain a paid professional (voluntary) army as well.

In countries where conscientious objection is recognized, there is usually a court or tribunal hearing and if the objection is allowed, the person is usually required to perform some alternative civilian service which occasionally is a longer sentence than military service.

One subject of tremendous debate concerns the failure of some countries to observe basic human rights in the process. Turkey, for example, imposes mandatory conscription on all young men and does not provide or allow for one to conscientiously object. The abolishment of such practices has been a major concern of many organizations, including Amnesty International. Incendentally, in 1989 Denmark became the first country to permit women to serve in front-line military units.

The following is a list of all countries were conscription is mandatory:

  1. Austria
  2. Cyprus
  3. Denmark
  4. Estonia
  5. Finland
  6. Greece
  7. Lithuania
  8. Norway
  9. Russia
  10. Sweden
  11. Switzerland
  12. Turkey

Additionally, a few countries may have partially suspended or reduced conscription in favor of a professional military force.